If you are like many families, you end up with your fair share of leftovers in the fridge and if you are already trying to stretch your food dollar, it can be hard to watch that good food go to waste. But with a little extra planning and some creative thinking, you can leverage your leftovers to get the most value for your food dollar while filling everyone’s plate with magnificent meals. Here are some of our favorite ways to leverage leftovers and get the most out of every morsel.
Rebrand them as Breakfast
Okay, that might seem like a marketing scheme cooked up in some conference room but if there is any food that could use a little rebranding, it is the lonely leftovers in the fridge. There are tons of ways you can use leftovers from dinner to make a delicious breakfast.
- If you have some sautéed vegetables or potatoes, scramble up some eggs, add the veggies, sprinkle on some salsa and a little cheese and you have a breakfast omelet packed with protein and flavor.
- With left over steak, all you need is a couple eggs cooked the way you like them to make your own version of steak and eggs.
- Leftover chili? Scramble some eggs, mix with the chili, wrap in a tortilla with some cheese and you have a fantastic breakfast burrito that is better than any you can get in a drive-thru and best of all, it’s free!
Let There Be Lunch
Lunch is likely the most common use for leftovers especially when they are packed into individual meal size containers after dinner is over. But this isn’t the only way you can liven up lunch with leftovers.
- Have some leftover pork chops? Chop them up and toss them in a salad for a flavorful punch of protein to go with your greens.
- Got some spaghetti and a couple of meatballs? Lay down some provolone cheese slices on a sub roll, add the meatballs and a little sauce, heat, and you have a meatball sub made just the way you like it without spending a dime.
- Have some baked chicken and brown rice? Chop up the chicken, combine with the rice, add some steamed edamame and a splash of soy sauce for a quick and easy oriental rice.
Don’t Forget Dinner
We may not think of using leftovers as the ingredients for another night’s dinner but there are so many great ways to incorporate left over foods, you would be crazy not to try.
- Last night’s marinara sauce can be tomorrow night’s pizza sauce.
- Leftover meat from taco night works great with some red onions and corn on a Southwest salad.
- Use the rice, corn, potatoes, and carrots sitting in the fridge to pump up the volume and the flavor in a can of soup.
When it comes to leftovers, the lesson is simple. You don’t have to toss it out, you just to think about how you can use it in a different way. That way, you can stretch that food dollar without having last night’s dinner for today’s lunch every single day.